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Call to the Hall

44 Bobby Dillon - Safety Playing Career: 1952-1959

21 Charles Woodson - Defensive Back Playing Career: 1998-2015 With Green Bay 2006-2012

"Like [Pro Football Hall of Fame president] David Baker says, this is 40,000 years that [this bronze] bust will last, so I feel like this means I'm going to live forever. None of us will see 40,000 years from now, so that is forever. So this means immortality." - Charles Woodson

Former Packers safety Bobby Dillon was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a part of the centennial Class of 2020.

Defensive back Charles Woodson, who played seven seasons (2006-2012) for the Packers, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021.


Overcoming Adversity

Bobby Dillon played his entire career with only one eye.

"The only adjustment I made, I learned to have my head on a swivel." - Bobby Dillon


Bobby Dillon played his entire career with only one eye. As he told it, he first injured his left eye when he was five or six years old. "My dad was doing something, and I got a piece of metal in my eye," he said. "The doctor removed it and it caused a little cataract to grow. They removed that."

When Dillon was nine, he said, "another little boy my age accidentally hit me in the face with a board and broke my glasses and cut the white part of the eye. The eye started deteriorating, and by the time I was ten years old, it would not dilate and it was hurting my sight. So when I was ten, they decided to take it out." It was replaced with a glass eye, but the loss of vision on his left side never seemed to diminish Dillons' ball awareness.

Dillon played down the ostensible difficulty of defending against passes with sight in only one eye. "The only adjustment I made, I learned to have my head on a swivel," he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in 2004. "The guys would look for you from the blind side. Everybody knew I had only one eye. What I should have done was take the eye out and wear a patch. That would have gotten me a lot more publicity, for one thing, and it would have been a lot safer."

His glass eye was knocked out once, during an exhibition game against the Cleveland Browns early in his career. "We had to call time out and look around on the ground for it until we finally found it," he said. "They just popped it back in."

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The Perfect Fit

Woodson Comes to Packers in Big Free-Agent Signing

Charles Woodson experienced a rebirth after coming to Green Bay as an unrestricted free agent on April 26, 2006. At the time, it was considered a potential gamble based on his injury history. He had suffered injuries in his previous two seasons with the Raiders, finishing each year on injured reserve, and had not played a full 16-game schedule since 2001.

Woodson would go on to become one of the greatest free-agent signings in Packers history. Ironically, he did not want to come to Green Bay at first. He was stunned to find that the Packers were the only team offering him a good contract when he hit the free-agent market in the spring of 2006. During his first camp with the Packers, he was less than thrilled about playing in the NFL's smallest city. Late in camp, coach Mike McCarthy assured him how important he was to the team and how much the Packers wanted him. Indeed, Woodson and the Packers turned out to be a perfect fit for each other. The Packers offered Woodson a place to focus on football, and Woodson offered the Packers the skills of a top cornerback in the league.

While Woodson had earned various accolades early in his career, none were more prestigious than the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award in 2009. Woodson finished the 2009 season with a career-high nine interceptions, four forced fumbles and two sacks. He also returned three of those interceptions for touchdowns.

Career Highlights

Charles Woodson

Woodson was used all over the field for the Packers' defense. He made plays deep down the field, in the slot and on the blitz. This versatility allowed the Packers to use him creatively and get the most value out of him.

Woodson also was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 2000s and is the only player in NFL history with 50-plus interceptions and 20-plus sacks. He intercepted at least one pass in each of his 18 seasons, one shy of Darrell Green's NFL-record 19 seasons with a pick.

Major Packers Accomplishments

  • 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
  • 1st Team All-Pro Honors 2009 & 2011
  • 9-Time Pro Bowler 2009-11 with Packers
  • NFL Leader in Interceptions 2009 & 2011
  • Scored 10 Defensive Touchdowns
  • 11 1/2 Sacks and 38 Interceptions

Bobby Dillon

Dillon was listed as a right safety - essentially the free safety - throughout his career, but he often was called on to cover the game's premier receivers one-on-one.

Dillon also returned five interceptions for touchdowns, a club record that was subsequently broken by Herb Adderley and later, Charles Woodson.

Major Packers Accomplishments

  • Associated Press All-Pro Team 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958
  • Associated Press All-Pro 1st Team 1953 & 56
  • Pro Bowl Selection 1955-1958
  • Packers 50th Anniversary Team, Awarded in 1969
  • Packers All-Modern Era Team, Awarded in 1976
  • Green Bay Press Gazette All-Century Team, Awarded in 1999





Vince Lombardi on Bobby Dillon

"Everybody always said Lombardi never compromised, but I know one time he did." - Bobby Dillon

Vince Lombardi was hired as head coach and general manager of the Packers on Jan. 28, 1959. He and his assistants immediately spent countless hours watching films of the previous year's games. Lombardi began changing the culture of the organization. He summoned players for individual and small-group meetings, one of which led to the trade of the team's biggest star, receiver Billy Howton. However, he called Bobby Dillon the best player in the league at his position and labeled him one of the three "untouchables" on his roster.

Dillon notified Lombardi in June 1959 that he was going to retire to work full time as a sales manager for a plastics company in his hometown of Temple, Texas. Dillon was one of the few players Lombardi gushed about after studying the 1958 game films and the announcement caught him off guard - so much so that the coach said, "He is irreplaceable at this time." Lombardi also wouldn't take no for an answer when he instructed his business manager, Jack Vainisi, to try to coax Dillon out of retirement.

By late August, Dillon agree to return, until Vainisi told him he'd have to pay a fine of $100 per day for the time missed. "I said, 'Thanks Jack,' and hung up," said Dillon. "About 20 minutes later, Lombardi called. He said, 'I understand your position, but I have my rules.' I said, 'Fine, I'm just not going to do it.' He said, 'Wait a minute. You promise me you'll keep this quiet ... I'll give you a check for $4,500,' or whatever it was. 'It'll be an expense check, but you've got to sign it back to the team, so I can say I fined you.' Everybody always said Lombardi never compromised, but I know one time he did."

In total, Dillon played 92 games before retiring after Lombardi's first season - the only season which he had played on a winning team.

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Butler at Home in Wisconsin

Star Safety

The Packers chose Dillon in the third round of the 1952 NFL Draft. Dillon, who played from 1952 to 1959, led the Packers in interceptions in seven of his eight seasons and three times intercepted nine passes in what were then 12-game seasons.

"When we played like the Chicago Bears, they had an end, Harlon Hill, and no matter where he went, I went with him," Dillon explained. "I played him man every game we ever played and had good success. Elroy Hirsch, I covered man-to-man; Tom Fears after Elroy left. I played Raymond Berry man-to-man. Val Joe (Walker) would move over to my position and the cornerback would move over to the other safety position. We didn't change personnel, we'd just move them over."

"Dillon is one of the few men in the league who can get the ball even when it's thrown perfectly," Lisle Blackbourn, the Packers' head coach from 1954-1959, said in 1959. "He has that something extra."

Dillon still holds the Packers' record for return yardage on interceptions with 976 and shares the team's single-game record for interceptions with four. His four picks came against the defending NFL champion Detroit Lions on Nov. 26, 1953.

When Dillon retired with 52 interceptions, only future Pro Football Hall of Famer Emlen Tunnell, who had played four more seasons at that point, had more. Tunnell finished with 79 interceptions; Dillon still owns the franchise record for the Packers.


Legendary Leader

After his initial reluctance to play for the Packers, Woodson would very much take to his new franchise. He would also become the most respected voice in the Packers' locker room during his time with the team. The quiet Woodson led by example, but during the 2010 season he would become more vocal. The Packers defense was decimated with injuries that year, yet Woodson was a constant contributor. The 34-year-old did everything for the Packers defense, including lead the team with 76 tackles. He finished the year with only two interceptions, but forced a career-high five fumbles. He helped the defense finish sixth in turnovers forced and second in interceptions, while giving up the second-fewest points per game.

After the Packers hung on to beat the Bears, 21-14, in the NFC Championship Game, Woodson delivered an iconic speech in the Packers' locker room. The rousing postgame speech included a reference to President Barack Obama, a Bears fan who said he'd attend the Super Bowl if his favorite team was playing in it. For the next two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, the focus of the theme of "one" from the speech had centered the Packers. Woodson continued to keep the team grounded and focused on the fact that their goal had not been achieved yet. Ultimately, they did achieve it, winning a title in Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25. Afterward, when the Packers went on the traditional post-Super Bowl victory trip to the White House, President Obama had this to say about Woodson: "I gave Charles a little bulletin-board material last year. Charles said, 'If the president doesn't want to come watch us at the Super Bowl, then we're going to him' ... Charles, you're a man of your word. And I've learned something that every NFL quarterback knows: Don't mess with Charles Woodson."


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